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Alpine skiing

Super combined skier

Winter Olympics guide - Super combined

Skiing has been helping humans conquer the white stuff ever since Norwegian hunters started using bits of wood strapped to their feet to chase their prey.

Five thousand years on, it is one of the most popular pastimes in the world.

Alpine skiing has four different disciplines - downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom.

The downhill is for speed freaks, and the slalom for master turners - and the combined provides an all-round test by putting the two together.


The combined consists of one downhill run, followed by two slalom runs.

All three runs are done in a single day, and the skier with the quickest aggregate time is the winner.

The length of the courses used in the combined is shorter than in the individual downhill and slalom events.

The structure of the runs is designed by two representatives from competing nations, usually one of the coaches.

The skiers decide their own starting position with a complex formula using the skiers' world ranking points determining the order they choose in.

The top-ranked skier gets to decide first, with their choices being based on weather and course conditions.

Ski comparison graphic

Different skis are used for the downhill and slalom legs of the combined event.

Downhill skis are longer for more speed, and slalom skis are shorter and more shaped to help with precision turning.


Other equipment includes gloves and goggles.


You need to be an accomplished skier before you start carving through gates and flying down the piste.

But if you think you are ready for the challenge, Snowsport GB has details of how to get involved.

And for more information on the ski world, visit the International Ski Federation's website.


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